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Small Cheap camping scope

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#26 SkippyMcSkipperson



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Posted Yesterday, 12:32 PM

I want to thank everyone for your insights and advice.  After  much reading and thinking about the subject I went with the Meade 102 achro.  It was right where I wanted to be for price right now and I can upgrade parts as necessary.  This is also an experiment to see if I would use it while camping, when we go camping it is usually with friends to state parks and the like, where tree cover can be thick and everyone's camper lights are sometimes to bright.  


So I wanted something to just try out and have it easy to setup and tear down since I will probably need to take it away from where the actual camper is parked to use.  


It looks like the topic has migrated away from the original ask, just wanted to provide an answer back to the topic

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#27 dusty99



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Posted Yesterday, 02:04 PM

Yes, I’ve been dark-adapting and using averted vision for years, but the reality of my neighborhood includes two street lamps, white security lights, neighbors’ interior lights and passing cars. Even if I start well dark adapted the lights in my immediate environment will start my eyes on the process to some degree of light adaptation pretty quickly. That’s a reality for many suburban viewers. On the other hand, at my most frequently visited dark site I can dark adapt for an hour and unless someone drives up the dirt road with their headlights on, I’ll stay dark-adapted through the whole session.
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#28 halx


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Posted Yesterday, 06:40 PM

I can clearly see the room for improvement. I saw folks installing multiple temporary light barriers in front of neighbours lights on their property. Making a rolling roof shed. Building domes. All that blocks pretty much all of the issues you have mentioned. Tiny property? No resources? Wear the eye patch, deep red glasses, and observe from under the light impenetrable cover. Use NB filters at the low mag for nebulae, switch to a higher mag to observe galaxies (at high mag the background is dark even in the city and you want to see details, not just blobs as in the smallish refractor). Yes, the adaptation will degrade in about 3 minutes anyway. But in that 3 minutes you will be enjoying so much better views with the 8" Dob than in a $3K 3.2" that I can't believe you could try saying something like the above ever again grin.gif. After that, just sit away from the EP in the dark for 15 min relaxing to regain the adaptation.


In addition, a refractor or CAT is harder to protect from the stray light compared to a reflector. The front blend need to be enormous, flocking is not viable, while a 8" already has an uber long blend, just add flocking and improve the rim if it's too low (on a 8" it usually is).


Sure thing, there are places totally impossible to observe, e.g. the reflection of the light from the urban smog might be untolerable. The best action in such conditions is to open Internet and book a campground. That's what the OP doing right. I bet, he just needed an excuse to get a 4" refractor, as that Meade 102 achro with the GEM and tripod is actually heavier and bulkier than a typical 8" lol.gif.

When in a grey-black LPZ, I don't mind passing cars as being on alert for them I'm aware one is approaching like 10 minutes before it could do any harm. So 5 min later I just put on deep red glasses, sit in my recliner with my back to the expected approaching direction, and keep my eyes closed until I hear it passed far enough. Additional darkness adaptation and eye relaxation instead of the anger! Thank you driver! So sad they are passing only two - three times over the course of the night, as my places are really remote. As I could use a couple more relaxing breaks I'm otherwise skipping.

Edited by halx, Yesterday, 06:41 PM.

#29 BillP



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Posted Yesterday, 09:33 PM

Thanks for the input on the ext90, but at F = 1250mm I'm a bit concerned about the field of view vs the 600 for the 102.  

Then you bring in the false color point, so I need to factor that in as well.  I get caught up in all the options.  


I see there is an EXT90 in the classified right now for less than the 102 brand new.

Don't be concerned about the FOV.  Bring some binoculars for the wide views.  Let the telescope do what it does best which generally starts at 50x.  You can always pop an SCT thread adapter and then an SCT .63x reducer on it and get more FOV.

#30 PXR-5



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Posted Yesterday, 10:21 PM

I'm a big fan of Maks and SCTs but for camping, nothing beats a ST80!
The Meade Infinity 80 would be my choice.
The Meade Adventure scope is the same, comes in a nice backpack but the tripod is USELESS.
But you could throw it away and buy a decent folding tripod to fit the backpack :)
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